The New York primary — fun while it lasted

After decades of wandering in the wilderness of presidential politics, the past couple weeks and the anticipation of the next few days in New York State have certainly been an interesting and – for political junkies at least – fun time. Finally we got to see and hear the commercials, attend the events, have the whole thing overwhelm the whole community for a while. It’s almost like living in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina.

None of this is to say that we have particularly benefited from new pronouncements on issues or even new ways in which Donald Trump can insult people. We are getting to see, basically, the re-run season of those things. The surviving candidates must be very tired. I give them all credit for their incredible stamina.

Bill and Hillary have been through town as has Bernie Sanders. Their events have been a lot different, but that is really as much by design and intent as it is by the political forces in play this year. Secretary Clinton offers a more thoughtful discussion which attracts smaller and more reserved crowds, while Senator Sanders’ promises of free this-and-thats are designed to attract people who are earnestly hoping for something free. The Brooklyn debate last evening, hopefully the last, shed no new light on anything. The debates and town halls have run their course, except of course for the news networks, who promote the events like some mixed martial arts event.

Speaking of mixed martial arts, Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed legislation approving such events in New York State. Apparently we are the last state to do so. The legislation, however, comes too late to liven up the Republican presidential sweepstakes. The contenders are too tired for that.

We in Western New York have sort of seen Ted Cruz. John Kasich did not get any closer than Greece, New York, although not for want of Kevin Hardwick and Ray Walter trying to bring him to Buffalo I’m sure.

But still to come – Donald Trump at the First Niagara Center. Monday night at 7 PM – tickets still available. Good thing that the Sabres avoided the playoffs again, leaving only the Bandits’ schedule to gum up the Trump visit.

Writing as a Democrat, I really hope that Trump fills every single seat in the Arena next Monday night. It is important that Trump win all 95 delegates on Tuesday to move closer to wrapping it all up, so a high level of enthusiasm is important. Getting those 95 delegates will significantly boost his chances of coming tantalizingly close to the 1,237 delegate mark needed at the July convention. Trump and company seem to think that the plurality of delegates they will bring to Cleveland should be enough, but the Republican National Committee folks keep insisting that a majority will be necessary for the nomination.

If all else fails, the Trumpkins might follow Trump adviser Roger Stone’s lead and spend the week in Cleveland harassing delegates. The rules for the nomination process were set long ago, but why follow the rules?

It is really funny to watch Mr. Art-of-the-Deal basically admit he didn’t know what he was doing when he set out on this campaign. Flying by the seat-of-his-mouth got him big crowds and a bunch of primary wins. It evidently encouraged him to assume everything after that would just fall in line. Didn’t he ever see Episode V of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back?

The other schadenfreude thing about how this is all playing out is the effect it is having on the formerly-in-control Republican establishment. The Washington Post and the networks may have to put Charles Krauthammer and George Will on suicide watch. Karl Rove in Politico this week seems to be sort of, just maybe, or maybe not, edging toward supporting Trump. This may have to do with the fact that Rove’s genius was brought into question in 2012, and unless he latches onto a candidate this year his brand may fade to black.

A local radio talkster is promoting a Trump-Cruz ticket as the party’s best hope for 2016. Democrats should only be that lucky. The positive thing to keep in mind is that the Republican Party has a habit of nominating the runner-up for the nomination in one cycle to be the nominee in the next. (Pay no attention to Rick Santorum.) So Cruz for President in 2020!

The circus is loading the clowns and the elephants on the train and will soon leave town, so enjoy the show through Tuesday. After that we will only watch from afar.

Deputy Delegate

One of the benefits of having signed up to attend the candidate events in South Carolina earlier this year is to get regular (like often three or four a day) emails from the Trump, Cruz, Kasich and Sanders campaigns. Sometimes the messages are signed by the candidate themselves, but the wives and campaign staff also weigh in.

Trump keeps inviting me to attend his events anywhere from New York to Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Sorry Donald, been there, done that.

The Trump campaign wanted me to sign up to make phone calls at home for him. For a brief moment I thought I could sign in as Winston Kruly, our faithful Maltese, just to see what the phone pitch was and who they wanted to call. But Winston would not approve, so that idea was discarded.

Cruz, Kasich and Sanders, on the other hand, only want my money. Usually just small amounts. Bernie keeps asking for $2.70. The others, not much more.

The Kasich and Cruz missives usually appear to have been written by staffers who have been traveling too much and are living on coffee and junk food. They beg. They cajole. They suggest the ruin of the country unless I immediately send at least $5/10/25/50. They note all sorts of deadlines that their finance chairs have imposed.

I probably should not be writing this, but Ted Cruz has been sending me emails that are marked “Confidential.” One suggested he hadn’t even told Heidi. Ted warns that I should not share the email with dastardly (my paraphrasing) Trump people.

The best of all of these emails arrived a few days ago. Anderson Cooper displayed it on CNN, so I guess I won’t get in trouble sharing it with Politics and Other Stuff readers. Ted told me that for just $35 I could be a Cruz “Deputy Delegate.” Here are some excerpts from the email.

[W]hile not everyone can be an official convention delegate, I’m asking you to join my online team by becoming a Deputy Delegate today. But you have to act in the next 48 hours.

Here’s a preview of what your card will look like:gif (2)

By becoming a card-carrying Deputy Delegate, you will be a champion for our campaign no matter where you go. … You will be among the first to know about important developments relating to the campaign and will be invited to participate in upcoming strategy calls. This is an exclusive opportunity that I am only offering to you and a few others. I would love to have you on our list of Deputy Delegates, and I’ll be looking for your name when I see the list of Deputy Delegates tonight.

For liberty, Ted Cruz

P.S. I am only emailing a small, select group of my closest supporters with this opportunity today. P.P.S. I’ve asked my Campaign Manager to send me updates throughout the day with a list of those who agree to this task, and I really hope I’ll see your name on it.

When I was in elementary school at some point during the last millennium the Erie County Sheriff at the time, Robert Glasser, had a program for Junior Deputy Sheriffs. It came with an official looking badge, which I have lost, but also a neat certificate, which I proudly display here.juunior.deputy.sheriff

If it’s all the same to Senator Cruz, I’m just going to stick with being an official Erie County Junior Deputy Sheriff for now. The Cruz Deputy Delegate’s work ends in July, but the work of a Junior Deputy Sheriff goes on forever.